Attorney General of Hawaii
|Hawaii Attorney General|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2013-2014 FY Budget:||$73,140,520|
|Length of term:||4 years coterminous with the governor|
|Authority:||Hawaii Revised Statutes, 26-7|
|Selection Method:||Appointed by the governor|
|Assumed office:||December 1, 2014|
|Other Hawaii Executive Offices|
|Governor•Lieutenant Governor•Attorney General•Director of Finance•Auditor•Superintendent of Education•Agriculture Commissioner•Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs•Chairperson of Land and Natural Resources•Director of Labor and Industrial Relations•Public Utilities Commission|
The current attorney general is Russell Suzuki, who is serving on an interim basis under Gov. David Ige (D). Suzuki succeeded David M. Louie (D), who was not reappointed when his term expired on December 1, 2014.
In many states, the office of attorney general is created by the state constitution. Unusually, the Hawaii attorney general is established by statute.
Hawaii Revised Statutes, 26-7
The department of the attorney general shall be headed by a single executive to be known as the attorney general.
Like all state "principal department" heads, the attorney general must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of Hawaii for at least a year before his appointment.
Every officer appointed under the provisions of this section shall be a citizen of the United States and shall have been a resident of this State for at least one year immediately preceding that person's appointment, except that this residency requirement shall not apply to the president of the University of Hawaii.
As the head of a principal executive department, the attorney general is appointed by the governor with the consent of the Hawaii Senate. The appointee holds office for a term concurrent with that of the governor, who may also remove him from office at any time. The attorney general is unique among Hawaii's department heads in that his removal by the governor also requires the consent of the Senate.
Each principal department shall be under the supervision of the governor and, unless otherwise provided in this constitution or by law, shall be headed by a single executive. Such single executive shall be nominated and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appointed by the governor. That person shall hold office for a term to expire at the end of the term for which the governor was elected, unless sooner removed by the governor; except that the removal of the chief legal officer of the State shall be subject to the advice and consent of the senate.
There are no term limits associated with the office of attorney general.
If a vacancy occurs, the governor appoints a replacement with the consent of the state Senate. If the Senate is out of session when the vacancy occurs, the governor may appoint a temporary replacement to exercise the powers of attorney general until the legislature reconvenes.
The attorney general is responsible for:
- Representing the state in civil and criminal cases in which it is a party
- Investigating violations of state laws
- Preparing official legal opinions for the governor, the state legislature, and other state agencies
- Advising state officials on legal matters
- Defending state employees in matters related to their official duties
- Civil Recoveries
- Civil Rights Litigation
- Commerce and Economic Development
- Criminal Justice
- Employment Law
- Family Law
- Health and Human Services
- Public Safety, Hawaiian Home Lands, and Housing
- Tort Litigation
- Child Support Enforcement
- Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance
- Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center
- Office of Child Support Hearings
The Office of Lieutenant Governor's budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 was $73,140,520.
See also: Compensation of state executive officers
In 2010, the attorney general received a salary of $114,420.
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Department of the Attorney General
425 Queen Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Telephone: (808) 586-1500
Fax: (808) 586-1239
- Honolulu Civil Beat, "Louie Out, Hawaii To Get New Attorney General," December 1, 2014
- Hawaii Revised Statutes, "26-7," accessed September 19, 2011
- Hawaii Department of the Attorney General, "Roles and Responsibilities," accessed September 19, 2011
- Hawaii Department of the Attorney General, "Divisions," accessed September 19, 2011
- Hawaii State Legislature, "H.B. No. 200 Fiscal Biennium 2013-2015," accesseed June 28, 2013
- Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," accessed November 14, 2014
- The Council of State Governments, "Book of the States 2013, Table 4.11," accessed February 2, 2014